The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) recently reported the results of its “HM/DG Road Blitz,” an unannounced five-day initiative to inspect vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
In total, 6,204 vehicles were inspected in the US and Canada. More than 6,600 packages containing hazardous materials were scrutinized during these roadside checks. Most of the hazardous materials inspections occurred in the US (90%), according to CVSA’s report.
Enforcement personnel found 1,774 violations of North American hazardous materials requirements during the event, which took place from June 13—17, 2022.
Inspectors found violations related to shipping papers, bulk and-non bulk packaging violations, packages missing required markings and labels, leaking packages, loading and securement violations, and failure to comply with Canada’s dangerous goods training requirements.
The three most-inspected hazard classes were flammable and combustible liquids (Class 3), gases (Division 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3), and corrosive substances (Class 8).
CVSA News Release (October 12, 2022)
Hazmat Violations: Consequences for Shippers
For shippers, violations discovered in transit can result in a package being removed from transportation. In addition to delaying or preventing delivery of the shipment, removal from transportation can accrue fees for storage or disposal for the shipper. If delivery of the hazardous material is time-sensitive, the product may be a total loss.
To deliver product that’s been removed from a vehicle or correct violations discovered by inspectors, the shipper may be forced to re-package, re-label, and re-offer the shipment on a rushed schedule. This costly, inefficient repetition of work can affect the facility’s schedule and displace other priorities.
If a hazmat package is found to be damaged or leaking, an incident report will be made to US DOT using Form 5800.1. Federal and state inspectors use hazmat incident reports as a tool to guide inspection priorities. If a shipping facility is named on an incident report, an inspection of the shipper’s operations may follow.
Violations discovered in transportation disrupt the carrier’s operations too. Carriers may hesitate or refuse to accept future shipments for fear of further delays or an emergency incident involving hazardous materials.
Lastly, US DOT has authority to issue civil penalties for shippers who violate the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). These civil penalties increase every year, and are now as high as $89,678 per day, per violation for common shipping mistakes.
For violations that result in serious illness, severe injury, death, or substantial property damage, the maximum civil penalty is $209,249 per day per violation.
DOT also imposes a penalty for failure to provide require hazmat training for employees. This is a minimum penalty of $540 per employee, per day. The HMR require training for all hazmat employees within 90 days of hire date. Re-training (or “recurrent” training) is required every three years (49 CFR 172.704).
Read more: Who Needs Hazmat Training?
The CVSA is a nonprofit association comprised of commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives (CVSA.org).
Final Hazmat Training Workshops & Webinars for 2022
Develop in-depth expertise needed to classify and name materials, package hazmat, mark and label packages, fill out shipping papers, and comply with DOT reporting and recordkeeping mandates. These upcoming workshops guide shippers through a step-by-step process to navigate and apply the US and international hazardous materials/dangerous goods regulations.
Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshop (DOT)
Hazmat Air Shipper Certification Workshop (IATA)
||Nov. 9–10 (DOT only)
Browse more upcoming workshops, including training coming in 2023, at Lion.com/Hazmat.
A Lion instructor will present the live, two-day Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (DOT) Webinar on November 7–8.